Hi ho Stargazers….
Here is some sky candy to check out
Interesting occultation of Spica this week…
Below is from Sky and Telescope
(see sidebar, or click)
Thursday, February 28
Look for Spica very close to the waning gibbous Moon late this evening, as seen from North America. The Moon occults (hides) Spica for viewers from southeastern Mexico through central South America; map and timetables (date and times are in Universal Time).
Friday, March 1
Around 11 p.m. this evening (depending on where you live), the waning Scorpio Moon rises with Saturn glowing a few degrees to its left, as shown above. The pair remain close for the rest of the night.
STARGAZING EVENTS THIS YEAR
March 10-24 Comet PANSTARRS (click)
First discovered in 2011, this comet should be coming back around for about 2 weeks. It will be visible low in the northwest sky after sunset.
April 25 Partial Lunar Eclipse (click)
5 degrees Scorpio
A very minor, partial lunar eclipse (not visible in North America) where only about 2 percent of the moon’s diameter will be inside the dark shadow of the Earth.
May 9 Annular Eclipse of the Sun (click)
19 Degrees Taurus
It will be visible in Northern Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea but mostly within the Pacific Ocean.
May 24 – 30 Dance of the planets
Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will seemingly dance between each other in the twilight sky just after sunset as they will change their positions from one evening to the next. Venus will be the brightest of all, six times brighter than Jupiter.
June 23 Supermoon
2 Degrees Capricorn
August 12 Perseids
upwards of 90 meteors per hour – good viewing, moon will have set
October 18 Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon (click)
25 Degrees Aries
Visible mostly in Asia, Europe and Africa, at this time the 76% of the moon will be covered by the penumbral shadow of the Earth.
November 3 Hybrid Eclipse of the Sun (click)
11 Degrees Scorpio
A Hybrid Eclipse meaning, along its path, the eclipse will turn from Annular to Total and in this case most of the path will appear to be Total as there will be a slight ring of sunlight visible near the beginning of the track. This one will begin in the Atlantic (near the East Coast of the U.S.) and travel through Africa. The greatest eclipse (with 100 seconds of totality) will appear in Liberia, near the West Coast of Africa.
Mid November – December
Comet ISON (click)
The second comet this year, ISON, could potentially be visible in broad daylight as it reaches its closest point to the Sun. It will reach that point on November 28 and it is close enough to the Sun to be categorized as a ‘Sungrazer’.
December Venus Viewing
The brightest planet of them all will shine a few hours after sundown in the Southwestern sky and for about 1.5 hours approaching New Years Eve. Around December 5th, a crescent moon will pass above the planet and the next night Venus will be at its brightest until 2021.
December 13 – 14 Geminids
upwards of about 100 meteors per hour – the waxing Moon phase may obscure viewing